Thu, Dec 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Naturalizations quadruple this year

By Chen Yu-fu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

About 65 foreigners have over the past two years been offered naturalization based on their expertise or specialized skill sets as a result of amendments to the Nationality Act (國籍法), the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday.

In 2016, the act was amended to grant those with distinctive contributions to Taiwan or who possess high-end knowledge in science, economics, education, culture and the arts, sports or other areas expedited naturalization without the need to renounce their original nationality.

The government has this year approved 52 naturalization applications, four times more than last year, Department of Household Registration Deputy Director Chen Hsin-wei (鄭信偉) said.

Of those naturalized, 32 were accepted under the rubric of education, of which 29 were university professors, Cheng said, adding that 11 held specialized knowledge in economics, eight in arts and culture, seven in science and technology, five in medicine and one each in the fields of sports and human rights.

Most of the people naturalized over the past two years were US citizens, while Malaysian citizens came in second, Cheng said, adding that the others came from all over the world, including South Africa, New Zealand and Finland.

One of the six applications the ministry approved on Wednesday last week was submitted by an expert in financial insurance, while another has studied Baroque music for years and has served as concertmaster in many European orchestras, Cheng said.

The ministry said that it has streamlined the naturalization process to attract more highly trained professionals to apply.

For example, instead of requiring an applicant to request a recommendation letter from the competent authority in the central government, the ministry would send the request instead, it said.

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